Summertime Lull: Don't Let Your Money Take a Vacation, Too
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photo credit: DeathtoStock_Clementine

The Summer Solstice is tomorrow. That means summer is officially here and in full swing; time to enjoy the festivities of the season and (hopefully) take time off to relax and unwind. Your pace may slow down a bit, but I bet your thinking about money doesn’t.

Yet thinking about money and making sure it, too, isn’t taking a holiday aren’t the same thing.

Here are 6 choices to make to ensure your money works for you 24/7 – even during the Dog Days of Summer:

Re-balance your investment portfolio

If you self-manage your investments, review your current allocation between stocks, bonds and cash (across all your investment accounts) and reset them as necessary. And if you work with an advisor, schedule a quick check-in call to confirm you’re following the guidelines of your Investment Policy Statement. (Don’t know what that is, let’s chat.)

Review your banking and credit card statements

Sure, you probably log into your banking and credit card accounts daily, weekly, or monthly to ensure the transactions noted are accurate. But how often do you review them to ensure you are on track in terms of your earnings and spending targets?

From a recycling perspective, paperless statements are fantastic! From a standpoint of paying attention to what you’re actually doing with your money vs. what you say you want to do with it — not so much. Now is a good time to review, assess and adjust, if necessary.

Make (or update) copies of the contents of your wallet

If you lost your wallet (or God forbid it was stolen), would you be able to easily recall what debit/credit cards it held? Save yourself time and reduce your stress; make copies of the front and back of each card you’re carrying and store a copy at home and offsite. Hopefully, you’ll never need to reference this “at a glance” piece of paper. But if you do, you’ll be prepared and this will be one less thing to worry about.

Put your credit card/s on ice…literally

If getting out of debt is a primary goal of yours and you’re having a hard time curtailing your credit card usage, take a “credit card vacation” by keeping them in the freezer. I’ve never had to use this tactic, but I hear it works wonders.

Pull your credit report

It is useful to pull your credit report at least once a year anyway. So, if you missed doing this in January, now is a good time. And you can do it for free once per year at (www.annualcreditreport.com).

Read a personal finance book or magazine

Yes, I am really suggesting you read a personal finance book this summer. Or, at least go spend a couple of hours one afternoon at Barnes & Noble, grab a cup of coffee and peruse any of the personal finance magazines on the “stand.”

You don’t have to geek out about this stuff like me to benefit from increasing your financial knowledge. Whether you choose a classic or the latest best-seller book or randomly choose a few magazines, you’ll not only increase your technical awareness, but you’ll have an enhanced sense of what information and suggestions resonates with you and what turns you off.

Perhaps, I’m partial, but I do believe it is possible to be entertained and improve your financial well-being. A combination I believe helps you become a better manager of your money and greatly contributes to your financial success!

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